Interbay Mutiny

I’d like to give a shout-out to the lovely woman driving the #17 bus from Ballard to Downtown yesterday afternoon during the 2 o’clock hour. There was a seemingly horrific accident on the overpass leading to Nickerson (upon closer viewing, the accident was just a fender bender, over-attended by three police cars and a small aid/fire truck). Our bus was stuck for about 10 minutes while the driver, new to the route and unsure what to do, since she was blocked from her scheduled turn, tried to figure out a solution.

Meanwhile, the natives got restless. I thought Seattle drivers were hard-core, but bus riders seem to be under the same pressure. A few passengers asked, then demanded to be let off the bus, despite the only exit route being directly into fast moving traffic. The driver refused, claiming their safety, Metro policy, and fear of law suits upon their probable deaths as (quite reasonable) excuses. A man on his way to work started shouting “You Can’t Keep Me Captive On This Bus!” Repeatedly.

I was on my way to work too, but I felt Shouting Guy was a bit dramatic. Then a sweet old lady on her way to a doctor’s appointment got all up in the driver’s face as well, waving her handbag and pacing the aisles. Eventually, a police officer came over to advise the flustered Metro worker, and Shouting Guy demanded that the Officer escort him through traffic to catch another bus. Thankfully, the officer just scoffed at him and told him he had bigger fish to fry (the beige Honda blocking the entire right lane of the overpass being fish #1).

Eventually, with much lecturing by the sassy, defensive bus driver and much caustic muttering about captivity by Shouting, now Grumbling Guy, we turned around and made it downtown only about 14 minutes behind schedule.

The new driver handled the situation, if not with stoic grace, with the right decisions, and, in my opinion, an appropriate amount of sass. If anyone was docked for being late to work, I do feel bad for them. Except Shouting Guy, whose captivity on a Metro bus lasted approximately 10 minutes and probably saved him from death by traffic squish.

2 Comments so far

  1. Beth H (unregistered) on October 20th, 2004 @ 6:28 pm

    I babysit for a lady that works for Metro. You would not believe the handbook these people have…its so thick, like a novel…perhaps the size of Gone with the Wind…


  2. the orange cat (unregistered) on October 20th, 2004 @ 10:06 pm

    By now, the jackass has probably calmed down and realized he was acting like an idiot. Hope he gets that bus driver every day for the next two weeks, just so he can feel a little bit humiliated every day when he remembers his tantrum.



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